PMQs: Theresa May accuses Jeremy Corbyn of allowing anti-Semitism to ‘run rife’

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PMQs: Theresa May accuses Jeremy Corbyn of allowing anti-Semitism to ‘run rife’

Prime Minister responds to question about handling of the Windrush fiasco by highlighting the opposition's anti-Semitism problem

Theresa May rushed from Parliament after more than two hours at the Dispatch Box answering questions on her Brexit deal
Theresa May rushed from Parliament after more than two hours at the Dispatch Box answering questions on her Brexit deal

Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of allowing anti-Semitism to “run rife” in his party after the Labour leader claimed she led a “callous and incompetent” Government.

The Prime Minister reacted furiously to Mr Corbyn’s strong criticism of the Government’s treatment of the “Windrush generation”, who have faced challenges to their immigration status.

Mrs May pointed to a Commons debate which saw standing ovations and applause for Labour MPs who shared stories of the anti-Semitic abuse and threats they have received, including from those purporting to support Mr Corbyn, and their fears of increasing hostility towards Jewish people.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Corbyn launched a final attack on the Government’s immigration policy by telling MPs: “This is a shameful episode and the responsibility for it lies firmly at the Prime Minister’s door.

“Isn’t the truth that under her the Home Office became heartless and hopeless”, accusing her of running “a Government that is both callous and incompetent?”

Mrs May then said Jeremy Corbyn “talks about being callous and having a disregard for people. “I have to say to him that I am the Prime Minister who initiated the Race Disparity Audit, which said ‘What are we doing in this country to ensure people have equal opportunities in this country?’.

“And can I say to (Mr Corbyn), he talks about being callous – I will not take that following a debate last night where powerful contributions were made, particularly by the members for Stoke-on-Trent North (Ruth Smeeth), Barking (Dame Margaret Hodge) and Liverpool Wavertree (Luciana Berger).

“I will not take an accusation of callous from a man who allows anti-Semitism to run rife in his party.”

Earlier in the week, the Board of Deputies has expressed concern over the treatment of migrants involved int eh Windrush scandal. Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “Like other migrant communities, Jews know what it is like to be treated as the ‘other’. Therefore we are concerned at reports that migrants who arrived from the Commonwealth as children many decades ago, may now face deportation. The Windrush generation have contributed a great deal to Britain. We call on the Government to swiftly secure the future of this community, which is undoubtedly part of the fabric of our nation.”

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